Artist Nayan Patel’s bizarre sculptures are designed to shock

In our tremor of youth this month’s issue, we spotlight a group of extraordinary artists from across the subcontinent and beyond, constituting up-and-coming musicians, up-and-coming role models and radical creatives who are reshaping the spaces and industries they inhabit. Discover a world animated by their dynamism diversity, innate individuality and general verve.

Nayan Patel

(Artist, model and stylist)

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Nayan Patel lives in Auckland, over 12,000 miles from my home, so I have no way of knowing that he finds the sound of broken glass beautiful, that he lives in an apartment that feels less like a house than at an antique store, that he once tried a 30-day ab challenge so he could be ‘ripped for New Years’ or that he toyed with the idea of ​​waking up early to have more time in the day to be a hater. And yet I know all this because her friend Beth Clemens documented their interactions in the days leading up to his art exhibition, Still life, during which Patel apparently stripped down to his underwear and dragged out a magnum of champagne while crying hysterically. I am both fascinated and horrified. But that’s what art and artists are supposed to do: make you feel things you’re not used to feeling.

Still life, which ran from October to November 2020, included a series of sculptures resembling loosely dressed mannequins who approached viewers rather than beckoning them to approach. Party animal was slumped at the entrance to the art gallery, looking like a tramp who couldn’t hold his drink; Gift looked like a deliberate misnomer for a sculpture that evoked unwanted memories of the ringis Sadako Yamamura; Free fall hurt to watch because of the impossible angle at which the figure’s back was twisted. Through these sculptures, Patel attempted to produce a social setting that invited curiosity and invited contemplation while drawing on his practice centered on familiar household objects such as shopping bags, balloons and the human body. .